The Queensland Government has produced a state of environment (SoE) report every four years and has completed three reports to date: the 1999, 2003 and 2007 reports. The EPA is the lead agency in the preparation and delivery of the report. The reports describe:
the pressures acting on the state's air, land, inland and coastal waters, biodiversity, and natural and cultural heritage;
the state or condition of the environment; and
the responses by society to reduce pressures and protect and conserve the state's natural and cultural heritage.
The reports are an important tool for environmental management in Queensland. They provide an information base to support the community, industry and government in working towards improved environmental management and the sustainable use of our natural resources.
The report describes the environment in terms of nine major themes (chapters): sustainability; atmosphere; land; inland waters and wetlands; the coastal zone; biodiversity; invasive plants and animals; human settlements; and natural and cultural heritage. Each chapter is made up of a series of issue papers. The report concludes with an assessment of the key legislation relevant to the Environmental Protection Agency in achieving environmental outcomes.
Links to the report, the government's responses, sources are available from the EPA website here
Key policy responses are available here
Planning for a rapidly growing economy and population
Moving freight and reducing congestion
Understanding climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Managing pollution and waste
Delivering water security
Maintaining and improving liveability
Sustainable use and management of natural resources
Minimising the effects of invasive plants and animals
Understanding and protecting our natural and cultural heritage
The June 2008 issue of Spinifex, QCC's newsletter has some critiques of the Queensland State of Environment Report by Carol Booth and Simon Baltais. This is available for download here.
A report released by The Wilderness Society, WWF-Australia and Queensland Conservation shows that Queensland's environment is in a state of decline after ten years of Labor in power. In response, the conservation groups are seeking a strong commitment from Queensland Premier Anna Bligh to usher in a new era of environmentally responsible policy to build on some of the successes and address the major deficiencies in areas such as climate change, biodiversity protection and water management
Paradise Lost?: A review of Queensland Labor Government environmental policies 1998 - 2008 rates the Government's performance in the areas of climate, water and biodiversity. It uses the State of the Environment Queensland 1999 and 2007 reports to track the impact of Queensland Government policies in protecting the environment.
Download the report here.
What are the economic, social, landscape and environmental benefits of keeping arable land under primary production? What are the implications of land values for viability of agriculture? If the retention of land as farmland is seen as desirable how can we protect that land from alienation from agriculture?
These questions were asked in 1992 in Beaudesert at Logan and Albert Conservation Association's community conference 2020 vision.
These questions are still relevant today - and possibly more so. Then we were looking at SEQ 2001 Project. Today we are facing an early review of the SEQ Regional Plan (2009 - 2031 see below) which is looking to accommodate and house the enormous increase in population. Good Quality Agricultural Land has been taken over by residential developments in other areas. Will it happen in our local area? There is a SPP (State planning policy) that is intended to "protect" GQAL - but does it? For how long?
Today many factors conspire to keep kids indoors, yet a growing body of research indicates that the shift away from unstructured outdoor play is detrimental to healthy child development. Free play - especially in nature or at creative playgrounds - is essential to cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.
Many experts have called attention to the issue, most notably author Richard Louv, whose best-selling book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (newly revised edition) has been translated into six languages. "Passionate memories of a childhood spent in nature are nearly universal," Louv says. "It doesn't seem to matter what somebody's politics are or religion is. These memories are something we share in common. Except for younger people."
Stuart Brown, a neuroscientist and president of the American National Institute for Play, says that various factors have contributed to the demise of childhood play in nature. One is the perceived risk to children who are outside without adults, a perception derived from high-profile media stories about child abductions, which in fact are relatively rare. Another trend is that "free time" has become an oxymoron for many children, whose nonschool hours are packed with organized, achievement-oriented activities.
Traditional farming practices and even weed control by local authorities have since world war two made use of toxic chemicals as an 'instant' method to control nature's response to our land use management. Such use however is intended to to be tightly regulated in order to avoid adverse effects from mismanagement. The following links have been provided for easier access to those government publications which are freely available on the government websites. The how when where and why - and what to do if there are mishaps are all available.
The full report is available here. This report has many implications for what we as a community do and each can do.
'Australia faces an unprecedented challenge from climate change. We risk losing our natural heritage, our rivers, landscapes and biodiversity. We have a brief opportunity to act now to safeguard and shape our future prosperity,' says the introduction to the 'Population, Sustainability, Climate change, Water and the Future of our Cities' section of the 2020 Summit initial report.
Read how the Summit says we can manage our environment.